An exhibition “Greece – Bulgaria: Bridges of culture for progress and sustainability” is on at the Archaeological Museum in Sofia. The exhibition presents 11 posters showcasing the cross-border cooperation between the two countries in archaeology.
The exhibition illustrates the results of joint projects such as: “Black Sea – Unity and Diversity in Roman Antiquity”,“Leaving a Mark on History. Treasures from Greek Museums”, “Roman Monuments in the Struma Valley”, „Monuments under UNESCO protection in Bulgaria” etc. They are divided up into five sections: prehistory, antiquity, Thessaloniki metro, Middle Ages – Byzantium and modern times.
“Being neighbouring countries, we have some shared history with Greece. We are a good example of harmonious partner relations in the Balkan region in our day, relations that are having a positive impact on the discovery and popularization of the shared cultural and historical heritage of our countries,” said Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hristo Popov, Vice-Director of the Archaeological Museum at the opening of the exhibition.
“We have a common border with Bulgaria,” said on his part the ambassador of Greece to Sofia H.E.Grigorios Vasilokonstandakis. “We support stability in our region, and culture is a solid bridge between Greece and Bulgaria. Our nations share common European principles, values and priorities, and they bring us together even more and make us an integral part of the European family.”
Bulgarian Deputy Minister of Culture Amelia Gesheva laid emphasis on the fact that the exhibition is taking place in the European Year of Cultural Heritage, just months after Bulgaria’s Presidency of the Council of the EU:
“It is vital to have events such as this so as to showcase and popularize our joint work. I am one of the people who believe that cultural heritage is a way to throw a bridge to future generations, and I would love to see many more exhibitions like this connected with new expeditions and new projects. The Bulgarian Ministry of Culture supports all such initiatives, and I am counting on sound partnership between the two ministries and between the cultural institutions that we can support, together.”
One of the people who helped make this exposition possible is Dr. Polixeni Adam-Veleni, Director of the General Directorate of Antiquities and Cultural Heritageat the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports:
“We have cooperated with each other on many different occasions, and that is what this exhibition illustrates. One example connected with prehistory is the joint project Topolitsa-Promachon, where a Neolithic settlement was found, dating back to 6,000 BC. The settlement is right on the border, and the digs are being conducted on the two sides of the borderline, by Bulgarian and Greek researchers respectively, and they give press conferences together, publish scientific papers together. In Thessaloniki I was director of the museum of archaeology for 12 years, and what made an impression on me was how Bulgarians were preserving the remains of ancient Serdica within the bounds of the project for the metro in Sofia, and when the time came to build the metro in Thessaloniki, I thought it a good idea to invite historian Dr. Mario Ivanov who was in charge of the excavations in Sofia, for an exchange of experience. We found it very useful.”
The exhibition is organized by the General Directorate of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage at the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Embassy of Greece in Sofia, in collaboration with of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences’ National Archaeological Institute with Museum. It is on at the Archaeological Museum in Sofia until 28 October 2018.
English version: Milena Daynova
Photos: Agape Yordanova and naim.bg